How to have a successful garage sale

Planning to have a garage sale? Here’s how to have a successful sale.

The summer is the best time to hold a garage sale because the weather is warm, the kids are out of school and people are looking for a great deal. After holding your garage sale use the money to treat the family to a fun activity that everyone will enjoy. If you don’t have the time to hold an actual garage sale; or have a yard or garage to do so here are some great tips on reducing clutter and prepare items for sale.

Pre-preparation tips: 

  • Go through each room, one at a time – If you haven’t done a spring cleaning effort, the best method is to work slowly through each room. Start small and work your way up really asset whether you need each item. During the process be sure to take breaks and rehydrate.
  • Sort items into groups – In early preparation, it’s best to organize your items beforehand. This eliminates doing so later and makes it easier when you start to price items for the sale. Ask grocery stores and restaurants for extra boxes this is a good way to start your sorting if you’re not yet organizing. Label your boxes and let everyone know what’s being sold. If you have little kids keep them in the loop so if they see a toy they want on sale day they don’t have a meltdown.

Mid Preparation:

  • Set a date and time – The best time to have a garage sale is the first weekend at the beginning of the month early in the morning. Holiday weekends such as Memorial Day or Fourth of July can give you an even greater advantage. Weekend sales give customers a more relaxed time to shop and more flexibility in their budget. If you can open very early in the morning the better opportunity you’ll have to stay consistent with sales.
  • Pay any fees (if necessary) – Check your local city regulations about ordinances on garage sales. Some cities may require you to obtain a permit or pay a small fee to hold a sale. If so, be sure to pay these fees in advance so you’re able to have your sale.
  • Set reasonable prices – Average item prices range between .25 cents and a few dollars depending on the item. Some items may fetch higher prices like collectibles, electronics, or other high-value items. Research prices for collectibles and other high-value items. Also, consider a fill your basket/bag sale on the last day to move unsold items.
  • Organize – Organizing is extremely important to have a profitable sale. The best way is to group like items together; such as clothing, shoes, toys, etc. When labeling clothes be sure to put all the same size together in boxes to prevent things from getting mixed while maximizing space.

A few days before:

  • Advertise – There are lots of places you can list your sale online for free but don’t forget your local newspaper. Be sure to make lots of signs and directions to direct customers to your sale and distribute them accordingly. When advertising online photos can be extremely helpful in advertising your sale and may even help you generate pre-sales.


  • Check the weather – Keep an eye on the weather and plan for any problematic weather especially if you’re going to have your sale outside. Set a rain date in case you’re rained out rainy days can affect your sales potential.


  • Have extra help – Ask your friends and family if they can help you conduct your sale. The more salespeople you have the faster you can sell, answer questions, and negotiate prices. If you have young children don’t forget about a babysitter.


  • Have change and bags for the goods – Be sure you have lots of bags and change for your customers beforehand to prevent headaches later on.

Day of sale preparation:

  • Set up early – Set up a day in advance if possible, if you can’t set up in advance be sure to get up early to allow for extra set up time. This is where all your handy pre-organization skills come in handy and make set-up faster.

After the sale:

Ask family and friends if they are interested in any leftover items. If not list your items on a site like freecycle to give them away to someone locally or donate to a local charity. Whatever way you choose to get rid of your unwanted items do NOT bring them back in the house. Chances are you’ll find someone or someplace that will take your donations.

Do you have any helpful garage sale tips we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.


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